Sunday, November 7, 2010

SAUNDARANANDA 6.23: The Bombshell

sa tu tvad-arthaM gRha-vaasam iipsan
jijiiviShus tvat-paritoSha-hetoH
bhraatraa kil' aaryeNa tathaagatena
pravraajito netra-jal'-aardra-vaktraH

- = - = = - - = - = =
- = - = = - - = - = =
= = - = = - - = - = =
= = - = = - - = - = =

While wishing to stay at home for you, however,

While wanting to live for your happiness,

He has been banished, his face wet with tears,

By his noble brother the Tathagata, so they say,
into the wandering life."

Here is the bombshell. Will its delivery in romantic wrapping paper soften Sundari's grief? How do you suppose she will respond?

When I have received a bombshell (and a couple of memorable ones stand out) my main response seems to have been one of numbness -- a trace of the fear paralysis response, as exhibited by Nanda himself in Canto 12: "Even the greatest beings / Are subject to return!" So he reflected, / And from his shock, though given to redness, / He seemed to blanch. / The shock happened / For the growth in him of a higher good (12.8 - 12.9).

Have you ever received such a bombshell, some surprising news that signalled the end of a significant relationship as you had known it and expected it to continue? How did you respond? Did you take it like a man? Or did you respond more like a woman? Was the response mainly conscious or mainly unconscious?

And what have all these personal questions got to do, in the end, with the one great matter of sitting-meditation and its four stages?

Buddhist scholars in the past, as LC documents in her book, have proferred different views in regard to the relation between what they see as the two halves of Saundarananda: the personal first part, and the 'Buddhist' or 'doctrinal' second part. But -- and here I am speaking from the heart -- what the fuck do Buddhist scholars know about it?

EH Johnston:
But he whose one wish is to dwell at home for your sake, who wishes to live only to please you, has, so it is said, been initiated with face streaming with tears into the mendicant's life by his noble brother, the Tathagata.'

Linda Covill:
He wished to stay at home for your sake, he wanted to live only to make you happy; but they say that he has been ordained, his face wet with tears, by his noble brother the realized one."

sa (nom. sg. m.): he
tu: but
tvad-artham (acc. sg. n.): for your sake
gRha-vaasam (acc. sg.): m. living in one's own house , office of a householder
gRha: house, home
vaasa: ifc. = having one's abode in , dwelling or living in
iipsan = nom. sg. m. desiderative pres. part. aap: to reach, undergo, realise

jijiiviShuH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. (from desid √ jiiv) wishing to live, being desirous of life
tvat-paritoSha-hetoH (gen. sg.): in order to make you happy
tvad: you
paritoSha: m. delight (= parituShTi f. complete satisfaction , contentment , delight)
hetu: cause, reason

bhraatraa (inst. sg.): m. brother
kila: ind. (a particle of asseveration or emphasis) indeed , verily , assuredly ; " so said " " so reported "
aaryeNa (inst. sg. m.): mfn. noble
tathaagatena (inst. sg. m.): mfn. being in such a state or condition , of such a quality or nature ; the Thus-Come ; the Thus-Gone, etc.

pravraajitaH (nom. sg. m.): mfn. (from causative pra- √ vraj ) sent into exile , banished ; compelled to wander forth as an ascetic mendicant
netra-jal'-aardra-vaktraH (nom. sg. m.): his face wet from tears
netra: n. the eye (as the guiding organ)
jala: n. (also pl.) water , any fluid
aardra: mfn. wet , moist , damp
vaktra: n. " organ of speech " , the mouth , face ,

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